The Call for a Plan to Increase Tenure Density
in the California State University
That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) call on the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to make recruitment and retention of tenured/tenure-track faculty a top priority in the CSU; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to work with campus presidents and faculty to develop a plan to increase tenure density (ratio of tenured/tenure-track faculty to total full time equivalent faculty workforce) to at least 75 percent and reduce the student to faculty ratio (SFR) on each campus to no more than 18:1 in ten years; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU request that the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor’s Office, in collaboration with the ASCSU and the California Faculty Association (CFA), develop an implementation plan for each of the ten years, including the annual implementation cost; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to advocate strongly with the Governor and the Legislature to provide additional funding necessary to fully implement the plan; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge CSU presidents to initiate campus discussions of resource allocation and collaborate with campus faculty representatives to increase tenure density and lower SFR; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Chancellor to include progress toward reaching tenure density goals in all regular performance reviews of campus presidents; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU request that campus Presidents provide annual reports to their local senates and the Chancellor provide annual reports to ASCSU on progress toward restoring and building the CSU faculty workforce; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate Chairs, CSU Provosts/Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, the California Faculty Association (CFA), California State Student Association (CSSA), CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (ERFA), the Governor of California, California State Senate and Assembly Committees on Higher Education.
Maintaining high quality education depends on recruitment and retention of high quality permanent faculty vested in the long-term health and growth of the university.
Although all faculty members play an important role in providing students access to high-quality educational experiences through direct instruction in the classroom or laboratory, the primary responsibility for student advising, program development and revision, and shared governance and implementation of university initiatives (such as student success and closing the achievement gap), lies with tenured/tenure-track faculty. The importance of recruitment and retention of tenured/tenure-track faculty has been recognized by the CSU Chancellor and the Board of Trustees, who contributed and approved the implementation plan for the ACR 731 in 2002, which established a detailed and comprehensive plan for achieving the goal of increasing tenure density to 75%,2 while avoiding any adverse impact on current CSU lecturer employees, and reducing the student/faculty ratio (SFR) to 18.0:1.
The Board of Trustees and the CSU Chancellor’s Office again re-affirmed their commitment to strengthening CSU faculty ranks in the 2008 long term strategic plan, titled Access to Excellence, which states, “The CSU will develop a comprehensive plan for reinvestment in its faculty to meet its goals of reducing compensation gaps and increasing the number of tenure-track faculty. In addition, the CSU commits to a comprehensive faculty planning effort, to include turnover planning, attention to recruitment and retention practices, and consideration of faculty development and evaluation strategies to support excellence in both pedagogy and scholarship….”3
One of the impacts of the long and devastating recent budget cuts was suspension of the ACR 73 implementation plan and deferral of the “Access to Excellence” commitment to invest in faculty. This negative impact is demonstrated in the constant decrease in tenure density in recent years, a reduction from 64% in 2001 to 56.3% in 20144. Budget allocation processes on some campuses, with heavy emphasis on recruitment and retention of management personnel, sometimes at the expense of investment in instruction, has exacerbated the problem. Seventeen of twenty-three CSU campuses, for instance, increased Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) management positions between 2007-20105, while only six campuses increased the number of tenured/tenure track positions.
The ASCSU has repeatedly affirmed its strong commitment to rebuilding a strong faculty body and has urged the Chancellor’s Office and the Board of Trustees to give greater priority to the principles contained in the ACR 73 in the CSU Support Budget.6 The ASCSU has also monitored and reported on the decline of tenure density in the CSU and expressed concern over deterioration of quality education due to neglect in investment in faculty.7
Although the partial restoration of the CSU budget since last year has resulted in the recruitment of a higher number of tenure-track faculty, the rapid depletion of tenure line faculty ranks, due to retirements and other forms of separation, has continued. To reverse this trend and restore and build up the ranks of tenured/tenure-track faculty, the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees, in close cooperation with faculty representatives, need to set acceptable targets for tenure density and SFR and articulate a comprehensive, detailed plan for faculty recruitment similar to the ACR 73 implementation plan. The CSU also needs to prioritize tenure-line faculty recruitment in budget requests submitted to the Governor’s Office and the Legislature.
Tenure density of 75% should be achieved by hiring additional tenure-line faculty, retaining existing tenure-line faculty, and not by eliminating existing lecturer positions. In order to preserve and increase the quality of education, we call on the CSU leadership to strive for a student faculty ratio of 18:1.
Approved Without Dissent – May 14, 2015
1 Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 73, September 2001 http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/01-02/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/acr_73_bill_20010924_chaptered.pdf
2 The California State University, Office of the Chancellor, Academic Senate, CSU, California Faculty Association: Response to ACR 73 (Strom-Martin), A Plan to Increase the Percentage of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty in the California State University http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Reports/ACR73_07222002.pdf
3 Access to Excellence, Commitment #2: Plan for faculty turnover and invest in faculty excellence http://www.calstate.edu/accesstoexcellence/plan-goals.shtml
4 CSU/HR data provided to the ASCSU Faculty Affairs Committee.
5 The California State University System wide Human Resources data provided to the ASCSU.
6 AS-2780-06/FA http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2006-2007/2780.shtml
7 AS-2780-06/FA, November 9, 2006, “Monitoring and Supporting Progress in the Implementation of ACR 73” http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2006-2007/2780.shtml
AS-3067-12/FA (Rev) “CSU Faculty Profile: Proportion of Tenure-Track/Tenured Faculty and Demographic Trends, 2001-2009” Report on Commitment 2 of the CSU Access to Excellence Strategic Plan, http://www.calstate.edu/acadsen/Records/Resolutions/2011-2012/3067.shtml
AS-3142-13/FA, September 20, 2013 “Addressing the Urgent Need for New Tenure Line Faculty in the California State University (CSU)” http://www.calstate.edu/acadsen/Records/Resolutions/2013-2014/documents/3142.shtml
AS-2991-10/ FA (Rev), November 4-5, 2010 “Investing in Faculty Resources to Ensure Quality Education in the California State University” http://www.calstate.edu/acadsen/Records/Resolutions/2010-2011/2991.shtml